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Conspiracy? Much Ado About Journolist

21 Jul

If I am ever asked the McCarthy-esque question “Are you now, or have you ever been, a member of the Journolist?” I will have to answer “Yes.” This is the short story of how that came to be and my experience on the list.

I am a doctoral student in the health policy department at UNC-Chapel Hill. Though not exactly a politico or a journalist, that didn’t stop me from getting the idea to start this blog last summer as the health reform debate picked up steam. The idea was simple: Provide people with accurate information about health reform as a soon-to-be-credentialed expert on the topic and let them decide. I have said many times on this blog that there are sound arguments on both sides of the debate, and have featured the work of both conservative and liberal sources. Of course, I readily admit to having little patience with the likes of Sean Hannity, Glenn Beck, and Rush Limbaugh (all of whom have something to say on this subject), and I have sought to spotlight the inaccuracies in their rhetoric from time to time. But I digress.

In my attempt to stay abreast of the rapid (often hourly) developments in health reform, I monitored a variety of sources–one of which was the Washington Post’s Ezra Klein. In fact, one day, I wrote a post only to see an eerily similar post show up on Ezra’s blog an hour or so later. I sent him an email that began “Dude, Ezra…” and suggested that he at least link to my blog. (In retrospect, it was awfully presumptuous of me to think that the wunderkind would turn to me for material rather than the other way around — and it turns out he had actually written the piece quite some time prior to its being posted online.) In the process of searching online for his email, however, I came across a story about the “Journolist.” I was intrigued. The names of several “big time” people were on the list. If I could just observe their dialogues, I figured, I could learn a lot about the health reform details from those “in the know.” So I sent another email to invite myself onto the list, and he let me join. That’s how simple it was. I was a grad student with a brand new blog about health reform and now a member of Journolist.

After introducing myself to the list, I sat back and observed back-and-forths on everything from politics to food to baseball, and most recently the World Cup. I witnessed disagreement among liberals–and some agreement–but never anything that would even begin to hold up as a conspiracy to agenda set or deliver a unified message. I did witness some people say less than polite things about some other people, but if you haven’t had that experience, you should get out more.

The high points for me were when I actually had people like Ezra, Jonathan Cohn, Paul Starr, and Harold Pollack send emails in response to something I had posted–which was rare, but it happened. (Should I play Six-Degrees of Kevin Bacon in the future, I feel that I am much better equipped to win the game.) Sadly, Paul Krugman never replied to anything I wrote. I suppose my ideas aren’t Nobel-worthy. I jest. Of course they are. They just don’t give out a Nobel for health services research.

Fast forward to last month, when a leak from the list cost Dave Weigel his job, and Ezra shut the list down. That was painful–both Dave’s situation and the sudden marked decline in the volume of email clogging my inbox. I held out for about 10 days, waiting for a new list to appear. When it didn’t, and I couldn’t take it anymore, I used the email addresses I had to revive the group. Because I considered the exchange of ideas between us to be of vital importance, I named the group “Essentialist.” Shortly thereafter, this small group merged with the larger efforts by a group of actual journalists to produce “Cabalist.” That story is here.

What’s the takeaway in all of this? Predominantly that the “whatever-you-want-to-call-it-list” is nothing more than a place to exchange ideas on any topic from A to Z. Yes, it’s a group of liberals and some moderates. But how is that any different than hanging out with your like-minded friends at the pub? Short answer is, it’s not. Now, to be fair, I wasn’t on the list in 2008 when much of what’s currently being reported took place, but since I joined in the summer of 2009, I can honestly say the content has been rather innocuous–often boring. In fact, I deleted far more Journolist emails than I actually read. Ezra sums it up nicely.

And yet, some of the more fanatical elements of the right want to paint this as a media cover-up, a conspiracy, and the end of the “lamestream media”, but the truth is that similar lists exist on the right as well–in fact, the RNC has one of its own–as evidenced by this leak. At the end of the day, this is just another facet of politics and that means that both sides are fielding a team. It might become a little insular, and it might very well operate like an echo chamber at times, but to suggest–or moreover, to believe–that it represents a coordinated effort to attack particular individuals, destroy the right to free speech, or decide the outcome of an election is beyond ridiculous, or is it??????

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35 Comments

Posted by on July 21, 2010 in Uncategorized

 

35 responses to “Conspiracy? Much Ado About Journolist

  1. Jim Kelley

    July 22, 2010 at 5:05 am

    I am sorry Mr. Wright but how can you come to any other conclusion than some Journalist members were plotting to destroy free speech and publicize propaganda against those having a differing opinion? Those were the tactics of the Nazi's and Stalin. Is that where the progressives want to go? Does the end justify the means? Didn't we go to war to keep that from happening?

     
  2. Anonymous

    July 22, 2010 at 5:29 am

    Hello . . . I am hoping you will respond. I have always wanted to ask a question of those who support this sort of "overhaul" of healthcare . . . I work in healthcare – lower level, but never-the-less work in the "industry" . . . Here is my question: In the universal (healthcare-for-all) system of healthcare, how does the system provide for drawing in intelligent and motivated folks to be physicians and researchers? Of course, not all people are motivated by financial gain, but most are – honestly . . . how does the universal system "incintivize" good medical works? — I am not being smart-ass — I genuinely want to understand.

     
  3. Des

    July 22, 2010 at 6:19 am

    Perhaps you are correct, but when reporters encourage other reporters to lie about stories (i.e. calling a random Conservative a racist in order to change the story), they are asking for people to assume it is a regular practice. I'm no Hannity fan, but he has several times had his staff gather compilation videos that show the administration putting forward their spin (as all administrations do), which is followed by dozens of MSM outlets parroting their comments in the most positive possible light (using nearly identical language). To those of us not in the media bubble (Conservative, Libertarian or Progressive), it calls to mind the saying, "Where there's smoke…"Perhaps if a single journalist had criticized the more outrageous comments, it would be different, but from what has been released so far (especially the comments about censoring Fox), it certainly appears that these people were doing more than just sharing thoughts.

     
  4. sunny black

    July 22, 2010 at 6:47 am

    "I wrote a post only to see an eerily similar post show up on Ezra's blog an hour or so later. I sent him an email that began "Dude, Ezra…" and suggested that he at least link to my blog.-it's a big conspiracy d. brad wright, doctoral student in health policy, policy research assistant, etc…-people are out there stealing your stuff. and it's a shame, here you are this unrecognized, unappreciated doctoral student genius. and no one will ever know who you are. so unfair. :(/heavy sarc

     
  5. Anonymous

    July 22, 2010 at 6:52 am

    Well, their accusations of racism have caught on so well that no one can have an intelligent discussion anymore. All the accusations of racism hurled at me and some of my friends, who were all democrats but didn't tow the exact partisan line on everything, have turned us so far off the current democratic movement, I doubt they will ever get us back.

     
  6. Anonymous

    July 22, 2010 at 12:29 pm

    "But how is that any different than hanging out with your like-minded friends at the pub?"Do you really not know?

     
  7. Anonymous

    July 22, 2010 at 12:31 pm

    Conspiracy is a loaded word. Let's forget that word. What, then, would you call major opinion makers like the Klein "brothers" having already made up their minds about Sarah Palin and simply spinning a story about her to the public in the guise of journalism? They are not like the RNC and are not supposed to be on anyone's side. Are they?

     
  8. Edward Becker

    July 22, 2010 at 12:33 pm

    I don't think this is a smoking gun. There's no evidence these knuckleheads had any true influence on any particular network.That said, it does reinforce the idea that journalists are indeed a bunch of chickens just waiting for that first fleck of blood from their victim.Sad, really.

     
  9. Anonymous

    July 22, 2010 at 12:34 pm

    I have no problem with Journolist, just don't identify the participants as journalists. From dishonest pseudo-conservatives (Weigel) to out and out scumbags like Ackerman who say things like "Fred Barnes, Karl Rove, who cares — and call them racists", they are sycophants and political operatives whose purpose (shown by their own words) is to misinform rather than to inform.

     
  10. D. Brad Wright

    July 22, 2010 at 12:38 pm

    Conspiracy is a loaded word–and one I chose purposefully to poke fun at the stories that are emerging, which are really proof texting rather than comprehensive. To your other point, most (not all) of the members of JList were well-known to be liberals or at least left of center, and most were opinion columnists — this is a different breed of journalist than a network news anchor. To be fully informed, I actually listen to Rush Radio, and I have heard Rush, Hannity, and Beck all pick up the same partisan rhetoric and run with it on any given day. I'm sure they're on a variety of lists, and there is definitely a concerted effort at staying on message even if parts of that message (e.g., death panels) are completely bogus — enter "Frank Lutz and the Word Doctors". Point is, not much short of reading the text of a bill yourself is completely objective, and this happens on both sides.

     
  11. Anonymous

    July 22, 2010 at 12:39 pm

    I don't purchase biased reporting when it is presented as factual news. I'm not the only consumer that votes with my dollar, just look at the financial condition of newspapers these days. Of course, reporters will have their own political views, but it insults my intelligence (and yours) when you publish information just to distort the truth and distract me. You joined the list to learn something. You, sir, need to expand your sphere of influence.

     
  12. Grant

    July 22, 2010 at 12:41 pm

    I love the hypocrisy here … "Derogatory comments will not be published" — yet this entire fiasco is about censorious comments and collusion to "shape" the tone of debate in a presidential election. What part of that do you not understand?

     
  13. D. Brad Wright

    July 22, 2010 at 12:42 pm

    To the commenter who asked about incentivizing "good medical works" — the answer is that there are a number of things that have been raised as ways to change reimbursement of providers from "fee for service" where they get paid for each thing they do, to a focus on the quality of the care they provide. This includes everything from risk-adjusted capitation to not reimbursing for hospital acquired infections — and the most interesting development in this area to be addressed by health reform is the accountable care organization. I don't have space to explain it here, but if you google it, I think you'll find the answers you seek.

     
  14. bobby

    July 22, 2010 at 12:47 pm

    "I witnessed disagreement among liberals–and some agreement–but never anything that would even begin to hold up as a conspiracy to agenda set or deliver a unified message" – – – And yet, the newly exposed e-mails that I've been reading today explicitly – explicitly – have many participants, including the "big name" members, working to select and hone a unified message which would best serve Obama's campaign and would most effectively torpedo McCain's chances.As a group. As in "here's how we should all write about this in order to shoot down the NASCAR retards!"I don't know you at all, and so I really hesitate to make declarations about your character, but based on what you wrote in your July 21st post, and comparing that to the additional J-List e-mails subsequently made public, the main premise and point of your post at least seems to have been disingenuous.

     
  15. Anonymous

    July 22, 2010 at 1:02 pm

    You're either missing the point or eliding it.The RNC list-serv you're using as the tu quoque example is just that, an **RNC** list-serv. JournoList is/was not such an animal. This is a case where all the self-imagined features of Journolist turned out to be bugs.Next thing to consider is whether a bunch of climate scientists forming a private list-serv to coordinate research, discuss tactics, defeat skeptics by denying them peer-review is "business as usual" and therefore okay because, no doubt, BP and Big Oil do the same thing.Talk to your parents – or whomever is paying for your grad degree – about whether you should take the $100,000 offered from Breitbart.If you're putting yourself through school – congratulations, that's not easy. Try running a retirement planner (from Quicken or MS-Money) and see what $100K means.

     
  16. Anonymous

    July 22, 2010 at 1:22 pm

    "And yet, some of the more fanatical elements of the right want to paint this as a media cover-up, a conspiracy, and the end of the "lamestream media", but the truth is that similar lists exist on the right as well–in fact, the RNC has one of its own–"So in your mind the fact that the RNC has a list of its own makes it OK for Libs from Time, Newsweek, Wash Post, etc., etc., to get together and coordinate ways to insure the election of Obama. RNC on the right…all of journolism on the left….got it. The so-called gatekeepers of information collude to shape stories and destroy individuals (just call the racists) and your cool with that as long as Ezra Klein attaches a smiley face to you on the end of his message. Nothing to see here folks……move along.

     
  17. Anonymous

    July 22, 2010 at 2:56 pm

    Sad, sad, sad, is all most of us can say about this. Many of us knew it was happening but didn't realize there was actually proof of it. It shows the arrogance (and ignorance) of these 'elite' thinkers, who misunderstand that their ideas are not those of the 'mainstream' that they are trying to influence into thinking the same way they do. Sorry, but most of us are unconvinced by the lame excuses and apologies now given when their dark places have been discovered.

     
  18. ChicagoJohn

    July 22, 2010 at 3:57 pm

    Brad,Before I wrote one thing on your blog, I wanted to check your truthiness on things that I know something about in the health care debate.So I checked the one topic that comes up often in health care debates, but one that is often bought up incorrectly:Life expectancy.Sure enough, you argued on several blog entries that Life Expectancy was a reflection of our health care in the US.Now I was about to point out to you that our LIFE EXPECTANCY is affected by other things:Like… getting killed. Or something reckless happening.But then I found out that you already knew about that, and blogged about it here:http://www.healthpolicyanalysis.com/2009/08/how-we-die-fond-look-back-at-2006.htmlOf course, being a doctoral student, you understand that there is more to people dying early then them getting sick.But you sped on past that to use that chart, which spells out how people finally die:http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_iSbxFdFUMNQ/Spf9yhqogQI/AAAAAAAAAFw/0XcacpjMXrg/s1600-h/howwedie.bmpYour chart pretty much gives me very little hope for your doctoral training.As we both know (?), most people get cancer and heart disease later in life. Homicides increasingly happen to younger and younger people.If you were to take your chart and 'age adjust' it, you'd find that people are losing much more years of their life in the US to homicide and accidents.Moreover, by its very nature, heart disease is more of a reflection on lifestyle. Cancer is caused overwhelmingly by smoking.But you knew that.Yet, you STILL choose to use the Life Expectancy numbers as a measure of our health care… as you did here:http://www.healthpolicyanalysis.com/2009/12/islands-of-excellence-in-sea-of.html"Compared to other developed nations, we're in the bottom third when it comes to life expectancy."But that's not all you said.In a huge hypocritical moment, you wrote:"Our medical care is a mixed bag. We're relatively poor at preventive medicine and care of chronic conditions, but good at treating cancer, for example."Huh.In that big chart you provided, which was supposed to prove how much of our lives are lost because of our poor health care system, a really big part of it is 'cancer'. Does that mean that we lose a great percentage of people to cancer DESPITE how good our health care system is at fighting it?Brad; you are a doctoral student. Its not too late to learn.But if you want to start, you have to stop joining and forming listserves with people who agree with you.

     
  19. Anonymous

    July 22, 2010 at 4:43 pm

    Mr. Wright,You say you are a student in HC. I spent 18 months researching why costs are so high. According to the US gvt stats and using current dollars explain how in 1960 the cost per captia for total medical was $148 and had risen to $7681. Inflation would acount for the cost increase to about $1000, add another $1000 for technology. Why are we paying 4 times that per captia? Show me in the current law where costs will lower. This law addresses none of the causes of high costs. I did find several ways to actually lower costs agreed to by HC pros and my congressman. I'll email them to you upon request.

     
  20. D. Brad Wright

    July 22, 2010 at 4:53 pm

    To Anonymous — I'll let all of you nameless folks figure that out — We pay so much because the incentives in our system are horribly misaligned and our populace is not well-informed of their options and thinks that more is always better, when research (and common sense) shows that isn't always the case.You are right to cite health care costs as a major problem, and one the current law doesn't entirely solve, but it does address the issue. First, for an insurance-based system to work, it is vital to have everyone covered, so that the benefits of risk pooling are maximized. There are dozens of demonstration projects in the law that will let us test ideas to see what does and what doesn't work to lower costs. I think this is better than picking 1 or 2 things and forcing them on the entire nation only to find out that they don't actually work, but that's just me. I don't have time to send you a reference to each of these demos in the law, but with some googling you can do your own research. Feel free to email me your ideas, though I can't promise a response.

     
  21. Anonymous

    July 22, 2010 at 5:45 pm

    I remember writing a paper in high school about the partisan nature of Dan Rather's reporting. My liberal teacher disagreed and I got a "D". That was in the late 80s, long before Rather and producer Mary Mapes removed all doubt by knowingly reporting falsehoods. So, this is not new. It is astounding, though, to see concrete evidence of the organization this cabal of treacherous miscreants employs to propagate a deeply flawed ideology – one that is now tearing at the very fabric of this nation. Disgraceful. And you, Mr. Wright, see nothing wrong? It's interesting also to see how you reflexively assume that those on the other side of the spectrum surely must behave the same way – and then use that as a pathetic justification for the journolist. With all of your degrees, did you not learn that two wrongs don't make a right? (w/much sarc)

     
  22. Anonymous

    July 22, 2010 at 6:19 pm

    You can justify all you want, but Journolist was dishonest. Sure, most were well know liberals, but at least one was posing as a conservative and another was an editor of Time magazine. And, all the while, there was no disclosure to the public reader! People presented ideas as their own, independently, that were in fact collaborative. And when a lone individual conservative would disagree, the full wrath of the Journolist could be brought to bear on that person.A liberal narrative was advanced, appearing to come from many lone individuals, which made the message seem all the more credible, again, without any disclosure. Instead of one person saying Palin was an idiot there was an entire community of doing it. So the MSM could assign more credibility to that position. Now, if every article was written and signed by the author with a disclaimer "Members of Journolist assissted in the writing of this article", then no one is being fooled.In the end, I'd say you've lost the argument when you start comparing these people to Rush and Hannity. Rush admits he is advancing an agenda (advanced conservative studies). Rush doesn't care if someone accuses him of being a partisan hack. In fact, he is quite clear of the purpose of his show. Time Magazine and the Washington Post pretends to be neutral. Krugman is a nobel prize winner, for Christ sake!

     
  23. Anonymous

    July 22, 2010 at 7:00 pm

    Mr Wright,How is this addressed::http://www.snopes.com/politics/immigration/parkland.asp??It is cost shifting that forces costs up. This includes non citizens, under payments of medicaid, medicare and welfare. Healthcare isn't free, somebody has to pay. Tort reform was never addressed, most of the money in tort is spent on defensive medicine and if you will become a doctor you'll soon see. MY GP charges mes $3 to $4 every time I walk through his door for his insurance. In cases of OBGYNs the cost can be as high as $248000 per year, What is that per individual? Research the Texas Workman's Comp history. What you will find while claoms paid to the individual were about same it made the system viable by illiminating the need for lawyers. As for non citizens, legal or illegal, failure to pay for services rendered results in a hearing and imediate deportation. The secound step is fine the employer the cost plus 25% of that fee. This forces one of three things. 1. non citizens will get insurance. 2. It will force employers to insure thier non citizen workers or 3, employers will only hire citizens. Note:: I did not say deny treatment, they will get treated.I gave you specifics, I didn't see you point out any. Forcing people to buy insurance and having the gvt pick up the tab is only cost shifting, it cannot lower costs.Bob Brown

     
  24. D. Brad Wright

    July 22, 2010 at 7:37 pm

    Start here:http://healthaffairs.org/blog/2009/12/21/the-revised-senate-health-reform-bill-cost-control-and-other-aspects/http://e-caremanagement.com/pilots-demonstrations-innovation-in-the-ppaca-healthcare-reform-legislation/http://www.healthleadersmedia.com/content/LED-244998/Health-Reform-Pilot-Projects-Look-to-Transform-Healthcare.htmlLike I said–it's far from perfect, but this is what the law does to start addressing the cost issue. We are and have always been a country that prefers the status quo and can only manage to pass incremental changes — considering that, I believe we've taken a huge step in the right direction. Do we need to do more? Absolutely. Would standing in place have ever gotten us anywhere? Definitely not.

     
  25. Anonymous

    July 22, 2010 at 7:55 pm

    I'm curious to see how they coordinated the attack on Joe the Plumber. Poor guy just happened to be on tape asking a pretty good question and the MSM seemed to decide to take him down.If this indeed happened then these jokers from Journolist had no shame. He's an average citizen. I cannot see how the ends justify the means.

     
  26. Paula

    July 22, 2010 at 8:09 pm

    We JournaLists will just have to go back to gabbing at a coffee house.

     
  27. Anonymous

    July 22, 2010 at 8:53 pm

    I linked over to your site with a positive feeling that someone from the left wanted to actually toss ideas back and forth. I should have known better. Sad. Your excuses for Journolist are alarming. Some of your groups ideas to smear and lie actually made it on the air, or were printed. Being involved in heatlh care, did you offer any input on how to use Sarah Palins down syndrome baby to help defeat she and McCain? Is that considered a derogatory remark by Journolist standards?

     
  28. D. Brad Wright

    July 22, 2010 at 9:05 pm

    To yet another anonymous commentator, I am not attempting to make excuses for the list, and I do not consider the ideas others expressed there to be my ideas anymore than I am willing to consider letting them claim my ideas as their own. If you want to know what I had to say about health care, you should feel free to read the roughly 400 or so posts on this blog. The only time I mentioned Sarah Palin was to call her out for spreading false information about "death panels" — I don't care about her personal life–that's her business. Although, I will add, because some may find it amusing, my mother-in-law bought me a copy of Going Rogue, which–believe it or not–I actually read.

     
  29. D. Brad Wright

    July 22, 2010 at 9:06 pm

    And also, if you will read my article carefully, you will note that I didn't participate on the list until well after the election was over.

     
  30. Kelly

    July 22, 2010 at 9:35 pm

    Frankly, I do not have a problem with the MSM having a leftist bias.I have HUGE problem with the MSM pretending to be "objective" when they are not. NO ONE is truly objective because when we make decisions, we all bring our own world view, experiences, etc. with us. Since it is not humanly possible for a single person to cover every story out there, that person must DECIDE what story to cover and DECIDE which facts are relevant and which are not. That's a fact but it doesn't make you a bad person; pretending that it isn't a fact and that you're somehow above the decision-making process that every human must use does.I think it would benefit everyone if the masquerade of "objectivity" were dropped and journalists would simply own their bias, write their stories and let the people make their own decisions. I can only speak for myself but I would certainly have more respect for them if they did. Stop feeding me bullsh*it and telling me that it's chocolate mousse.

     
  31. Anonymous

    July 22, 2010 at 11:32 pm

    I have a degree in Journalism and I started my own publishing company in 1993. I have survived in the publishing business for 18 years. (I'm far from rich but I'm still around.)I am a fifth-generation journalist. My father was an editor on a large-city newspaper and also taught journalism as a college professor. My grandfather was a photographer and an opinion writer. My great-grandfather owned two newspapers (one weekly, one daily).The conduct of anyone who was on the JournoList leaves me dismayed and angry.David Corn of Mother Jones admits that, within HOURS of John McCain choosing Sarah Palin as his running mate, many of the Journolisters gathered in your "digital tavern" to figure out how to discredit and attack her. Yet NONE of them actually looked into her past, her work history, her accomplishments or failures. In short… they did ZERO work that is normally required of a journalist. They simply plotted how to destroy her.It's been shown that Dave Weigel was actively promoting a story line that Scott Brown's victory in Massachusetts was due entirely to a bad Democratic candidate, not Obama's policies or the Health Care debate. After deciding that was the story line that should be pushed, the MSM took up the torch and tried to spin it as a bad local candidate having nothing to do with the Health Care debate.Spencer Ackerman actively promotes picking a conservative – ANY conservative – and trying to destroy them personally by labeling them a racist… as an EXAMPLE TO OTHERS who might disagree with you and the Democrats. (Why didn't you simply label them a pedophile? That might have worked faster.)As a busy man, I rely on the national media to let me know what is going on in the world and with my government. I always knew that the media tilted left… but now I find out that many of the "big names" were ACTIVELY HELPING Democrats get elected and get their message out. Many of them gleefully used the game of personal destruction to damage Republicans. Such behavior is NOT okay.Every member of JournoList should hang their head in shame. They are a discredit to my chosen field. They are NOT journalists and you never were.If any of them had a shred of decency left, they would resign their positions immediately and find another line of work.

     
  32. Anonymous

    July 23, 2010 at 5:21 am

    I always wondered why I never learned much about Biden's kids, yet I know the names of all of the entire Palin clan. I always wondered why there was so little media interest in Biden's marriage or various scandals or if there was a Levi Johnson, of sorts, in the Biden family. I always wondered why Joe got so much privacy and his stupid comments were only discussed by conservative commentators, and were not treated as newsworthy. No stories about Biden's voting record in congress (nothing that I can remember, at least).I always wondered why Palin and McCain were attacked in the news so heavily while Obama and Biden were given such glowing coverage. I recall seeing stuff in the papers about the disparity of coverage, and most newspapers seemed openly embarassed about it. I even commented to friends at the time that Obama was getting an awful lot of magazine covers compared to McCain and Palin. I simply assumed that Axelrod (the Karl Rove of the left) was running such a brilliant campaign and was doing a better job of controling the narrative, while the Republicans were forced to play defense.Now I know. There was widespread collusion on the part of various members of the media (those magazine covers were no accident). And there really was no attempt at competition to get a story. Instead, there was this bizarre groupthink that resulted in hit piece after hit piece, all right on message.I would find it fascinating if the entire archive was released. I would love to know how far back this goes (does it go as far back as, say, Larry Craig?).Finally, there is tremendous irony in that there was open disucssion on Journolist about the FCC shutting down Fox News. The irony (other than the obvious) is that if it turns out that some of the people on Journolist were Obama advisors, we may see a FEC investigation of Journolist! Wouldn't that be something.

     
  33. Trochilus

    July 23, 2010 at 10:39 pm

    You do know that by the above post, you "outed" Paul Starr?You said: "The high points for me were when I actually had people like Ezra, Jonathan Cohn, Paul Starr, and Harold Pollack send emails in response to something I had posted–which was rare, but it happened."The other three had been mentioned in various posts elsewhere, but not Paul Starr. It shouldn't come as much of a surprise, however, given his utterly over the top comments about Fox News in an article he wrote in the Atlantic. This one: http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2010/01/governing-in-the-age-of-fox-news/7845/In that article, he said, in part about Fox News:"Although they have their liberal counterparts on MSNBC, the situation is not exactly symmetrical, because MSNBC’s commentators do not have as strong a following and the network’s reporting is not as ideologically driven as Fox’s."Ha, ha! He's right about the viewership, of course. But on the ideology comment? Whoa! He's a funny guy, no? Makes you wonder wonder who writes that sort of comedy stuff for him?

     
  34. Anonymous

    July 24, 2010 at 8:53 am

    After the 2008 media circus liars, I will never vote democratic again. That's all you journalist have accompished, and there are many like me. You've all been exposed, finda socialist country and please move there.I am now Independent, and moving to the right, but thanks for the education it really was time to wake up a nation. Congrats!

     
  35. Anonymous

    July 26, 2010 at 12:18 am

    "find a socialist country and please move there."Please. It has nothing to do with "socialist." The healthcare bill primarily benefits health insurers and drug and medical suppliers of all kinds. No cost controls for those groups in the public cast in the role of paying the bill: those who will be hit up by the mandate, taxpayers, and everyone who is already seeing rising insurance rates for fewer benefits. It is corporatist through and through: payback to Obama's corporate campaign contributors. This is a fact. Google it. Rest assured no one one JournoList reported it.No, JournoList–the members of which can be viewed out in the open on many a "liberal" blog–is all about the culture wars. Having observed this phenomenon for quite some time, both in academia and amongst their virtually identical public intellectual spawn out here on the internets, I am not at all surprised that there is a renewed backlash headed their way.It's a narrow mind control cult. They need a good deprogramming.

     

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